Somehow I made it to Thanksgiving. Since that is just a normal weekend around here it doesn't seem that impressive, but still, Thanksgiving marks the true beginning of the holidays, right? Friday morning I decorated the house, hauling out the tree, testing lights, and letting the two year old help with the ornaments and decorations. The mp3 player set to The Best of Christmas in the Northwest and then Ring We Now Noel. Sunday brought the first true day of Advent, the start of the Church year. Getting on the plane and flying home still seems very far away and actually gathering together with family currently is only believable as theory. Today, December 6th, somehow feels like the final hurdle.
Today is St. Nicholas Day. Who was St. Nicholas? Here is a full recap and here are more kid friendly stories. He was a bishop who was known for his generosity. He died 1668 years ago today and was later sainted. It is his life that inspired Santa. We celebrate St. Nicholas Day as a way to separate Santa from Christmas without removing him entirely.
This morning we donned our Santa hats, found our stockings under the Christmas tree, opened the small gifts that were left for us, and talked about who St. Nicholas was. G often drops the first part of people's names - the 'Mrs.', 'Mr.', or 'Grandma'. Today it was the 'Saint'. Perhaps she is too reformed. She was wishing people "Happy Nicholas Day!"
Ideally today is the last day of Santa songs and decorations in our house. That may be why I feel like I have finally made it. The commercialism and stuff is behind us. From here on out it is all about waiting for the mystery of Christmas, waiting for Jesus' birthday.
(And then comes the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany.)